Rapid and Untargeted Methods for Residues and Food Frauds

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Food Analytical Methods".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2022) | Viewed by 12269

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Piemonte, Liguria e Valle d’Aosta, 10154 Turin, Italy
Interests: food authenticity; frauds; illicit treatment; doping in animal; development of rapid untargeted methods
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Guest Editor
Head of Specialized Diagnostic, Head of CIBA National Reference Centre for Biological Screening of Anabolic Substances on Producing Animal, Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Piemonte Liguria e Valle d'Aosta, Via Bologna 148, 10154 Torino, Italy
Interests: rapid tests; screening; untargeted methods; residues; food frauds; growth promoters

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue aims at collecting the most innovative rapid and untargeted methods recently developed to detect food frauds and residues of veterinary drugs. International food trade and the complexity of supply chains make the fight against food fraud a multifaceted and topical challenge today, for which new rapid tools to be applied in the field are demanded. Furthermore, authenticity testing through non-target (profiling/fingerprinting) methods can identify the entire profile or specific characteristics of a food sample to determine a so-called physical–chemical or specific molecular fingerprint.

 Among frauds, doping also represents an ongoing challenge due to the use of unauthorized substances or the use of substances authorized under community legislation for purposes or under conditions other than those laid down in community legislation that could release residue of drugs in meat, causing undesired adulteration. The preliminary screening stage is limited due to certain critical points such as the use of natural steroid hormones, synthetic molecules whose structure is not described yet or the use of low-dose cocktails. Innovative untargeted approaches, consisting in the investigation of the physiological effects induced as a consequence of illegal practices, are being developed to reveal biomarkers of exposure which are helpful for screening purposes.

Dr. Marzia Pezzolato
Prof. Dr. Elena Bozzetta
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • Food frauds
  • Food authenticity
  • Illicit treatment
  • Untargeted method
  • Residue control

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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16 pages, 3201 KiB  
Article
Transcriptional Biomarkers and Immunohistochemistry for Detection of Illicit Dexamethasone Administration in Veal Calves
by Alessandro Benedetto, Elena Biasibetti, Elisa Robotti, Emilio Marengo, Valentina Audino, Elena Bozzetta and Marzia Pezzolato
Foods 2022, 11(12), 1810; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11121810 - 20 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1604
Abstract
Corticosteroids such as Dexamethasone (DEX) are commonly licensed for therapy in meat animals due to their known pharmacological properties. However, their misuse aimed to achieve anabolic effects is often found by National Residues Control Plans. The setup of a complementary “biomarker based” methods [...] Read more.
Corticosteroids such as Dexamethasone (DEX) are commonly licensed for therapy in meat animals due to their known pharmacological properties. However, their misuse aimed to achieve anabolic effects is often found by National Residues Control Plans. The setup of a complementary “biomarker based” methods to unveil such illicit practices is encouraged by current European legislation. In this study, the combined use of molecular and histological quantitative techniques was applied on formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) muscle samples to assess the effects of illicit DEX treatment on veal calves. A PCR array, including 28 transcriptional biomarkers related to DEX exposure, was combined with a histochemical analysis of muscle fiber. An analysis based on unsupervised (PCA) and supervised (PLS-DA and Kohonen’s SOM) methods, was applied in order to define multivariate models able to classify animals suspected of illicit treatment by DEX. According to the conventional univariate approach, a not-significant reduction in type I fibres was recorded in the DEX-treated group, and only 12 out of 28 targeted genes maintained their expected differential expression, confirming the technical limitations of a quantitative analysis on FFPE samples. However, the multivariate models developed highlighted the possibility to establish complementary screening strategies, particularly when based on transcriptional biomarkers characterised by low expression profiles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rapid and Untargeted Methods for Residues and Food Frauds)
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7 pages, 695 KiB  
Communication
Discrimination between Wild and Farmed Sea Bass by Using New Spectrometry and Spectroscopy Methods
by Giovanna Esposito, Simona Sciuto, Chiara Guglielmetti, Paolo Pastorino, Francesco Ingravalle, Giuseppe Ru, Elena Maria Bozzetta and Pier Luigi Acutis
Foods 2022, 11(12), 1673; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11121673 - 7 Jun 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1602
Abstract
European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax L.) is one of the most economically important fish species in the Mediterranean Sea area. Despite strict requirements regarding indications of production method (wild/farmed), incorrect labelling of sea bass is a practice still frequently detected. The aim [...] Read more.
European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax L.) is one of the most economically important fish species in the Mediterranean Sea area. Despite strict requirements regarding indications of production method (wild/farmed), incorrect labelling of sea bass is a practice still frequently detected. The aim of this study was to evaluate the capabilities of two techniques, Near-InfraRed (NIR) spectroscopy and mass spectrometry, to discriminate sea bass according to the production method. Two categories were discriminated based on the docosahexaenoic and arachidonic fatty acid ratio by using a Direct Sample Analysis (DSA) system integrated with a time-of-flight (TOF) mass spectrometer. The cut-off value of 3.42, of fatty acid ratio, was able to discriminate between the two types of fish with sensitivity and specificity of 100%. It was possible to classify fish production by using multivariate analysis with portable NIR. The results achieved by the developed validation models suggest that this approach is able to distinguish the two product categories with high sensitivity (100%) and specificity (90%). The results obtained from this study highlight the potential application of two easy, fast, and accurate screening methods to detect fraud in commercial sea bass production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rapid and Untargeted Methods for Residues and Food Frauds)
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10 pages, 1597 KiB  
Article
Chemometric Differentiation of Sole and Plaice Fish Fillets Using Three Near-Infrared Instruments
by Nicola Cavallini, Francesco Pennisi, Alessandro Giraudo, Marzia Pezzolato, Giovanna Esposito, Gentian Gavoci, Luca Magnani, Alberto Pianezzola, Francesco Geobaldo, Francesco Savorani and Elena Bozzetta
Foods 2022, 11(11), 1643; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11111643 - 2 Jun 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2320
Abstract
Fish species substitution is one of the most common forms of fraud all over the world, as fish identification can be very challenging for both consumers and experienced inspectors in the case of fish sold as fillets. The difficulties in distinguishing among different [...] Read more.
Fish species substitution is one of the most common forms of fraud all over the world, as fish identification can be very challenging for both consumers and experienced inspectors in the case of fish sold as fillets. The difficulties in distinguishing among different species may generate a “grey area” in which mislabelling can occur. Thus, the development of fast and reliable tools able to detect such frauds in the field is of crucial importance. In this study, we focused on the distinction between two flatfish species largely available on the market, namely the Guinean sole (Synaptura cadenati) and European plaice (Pleuronectes platessa), which are very similar looking. Fifty fillets of each species were analysed using three near-infrared (NIR) instruments: the handheld SCiO (Consumer Physics), the portable MicroNIR (VIAVI), and the benchtop MPA (Bruker). PLS-DA classification models were built using the spectral datasets, and all three instruments provided very good results, showing high accuracy: 94.1% for the SCiO and MicroNIR portable instruments, and 90.1% for the MPA benchtop spectrometer. The good classification results of the approach combining NIR spectroscopy, and simple chemometric classification methods suggest great applicability directly in the context of real-world marketplaces, as well as in official control plans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rapid and Untargeted Methods for Residues and Food Frauds)
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17 pages, 1094 KiB  
Article
DNA Accounting: Tallying Genomes to Detect Adulterated Saffron
by Antoon Lievens, Valentina Paracchini, Danilo Pietretti, Linda Garlant, Alain Maquet and Franz Ulberth
Foods 2021, 10(11), 2670; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10112670 - 3 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2558
Abstract
The EU General Food Law not only aims at ensuring food safety but also to ‘prevent fraudulent or deceptive practices; the adulteration of food; and any other practices which may mislead the consumer’. Especially the partial or complete, deliberate, and intentional substitution of [...] Read more.
The EU General Food Law not only aims at ensuring food safety but also to ‘prevent fraudulent or deceptive practices; the adulteration of food; and any other practices which may mislead the consumer’. Especially the partial or complete, deliberate, and intentional substitution of valuable ingredients (e.g., Saffron) for less valuable ones is of concern. Due to the variety of products on the market an approach to detect food adulteration that works well for one species may not be easily applicable to another. Here we present a broadly applicable approach for the detection of substitution of biological materials based on digital PCR. By simultaneously measuring and forecasting the number of genome copies in a sample, fraud is detectable as a discrepancy between these two values. Apart from the choice of target gene, the procedure is identical across all species. It is scalable, rapid, and has a high dynamic range. We provide proof of concept by presenting the analysis of 141 samples of Saffron (Crocus sativus) from across the European market by DNA accounting and the verification of these results by NGS analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rapid and Untargeted Methods for Residues and Food Frauds)
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Review

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13 pages, 298 KiB  
Review
The Promise and Challenges of Determining Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone in Milk
by Axel Raux, Emmanuelle Bichon, Alessandro Benedetto, Marzia Pezzolato, Elena Bozzetta, Bruno Le Bizec and Gaud Dervilly
Foods 2022, 11(3), 274; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11030274 - 20 Jan 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3451
Abstract
Recombinant bovine growth hormone (rbGH) is produced in large quantities and widely used in a number of countries worldwide to stimulate milk production in dairy animals. The use of this compound in animal production is strictly regulated by food safety directives in force, [...] Read more.
Recombinant bovine growth hormone (rbGH) is produced in large quantities and widely used in a number of countries worldwide to stimulate milk production in dairy animals. The use of this compound in animal production is strictly regulated by food safety directives in force, in particular in the European Union (EU). Although analytical strategies for the detection of rbGH in blood have been successfully reported over the past 15 years, they do not fully answer the expectations of either competent authorities or industrials that would expect measuring its occurrence directly in the milk. As a matrix of excretion but also of consumption, milk appears indeed as the matrix of choice for detecting the use of rbGH in dairy animals. It also allows large volumes to be collected without presenting an invasive character for the animal. However, rbGH detection in milk presents several challenges, mainly related to the sensitivity required for its detection in a complex biological matrix. This review article presents the specific difficulties associated with milk and provides an overview of the analytical strategies reported in the literature and whether they concern indirect or direct approaches to the detection of rbGH administration to animals, with applications either for screening or confirmation purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rapid and Untargeted Methods for Residues and Food Frauds)
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